Facebook Software Could Soon Track Where Your Cursor Goes On Screen

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The private tech sector is playing with new marketing-driven surveillance methods that borrow from the much-reviled tactical thinking that has made the NSA an object of public outrage. If a test of Facebook’s new tracking software is successful, someone somewhere could know where your mouse is pointing anywhere on an open Facebook page – all without your knowledge.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the company is trying out technology that “would greatly expand the scope of data that it collects about its users” by following a site visitor’s passive behavior – such as how long a mouse cursor stays hovered over a link or a picture – down to a minute level of detail.

Facebook analytics chief Ken Rudin told the Journal Tuesday the company could use the additional data for myriad purposes, from ad targeting to behavioral research in the development of new offerings:

Facebook collects two kinds of data, demographic and behavioral. The demographic data—such as where a user lives or went to school—documents a user’s life beyond the network. The behavioral data—such as one’s circle of Facebook friends, or “likes”—is captured in real time on the network itself. The ongoing tests would greatly expand the behavioral data that is collected, according to Mr. Rudin. The tests are ongoing and part of a broader technology testing program, but Facebook should know within months whether it makes sense to incorporate the new data collection into the business, he said.

It’s all benign until someone gets hurt. As we’ve seen our government allows the private sector to do much of the heavy lifting in its endeavor to reap boundless information on private citizens’ Internet habits, probable cause be damned.

If Facebook and other companies deploy tracking technology that essentially watches your every move as you go about your business, it won’t only be the Facebooks of the world that know more about you than most of your buddies. Because you can guarantee the government, through subpoenas and less-legal means, will have access to that same info, too.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Alan

    Facebook is too big and that’s why I basically steer well clear of it. Because I generally trust it about as much as that fox guarding the henhouse.

    • Barbara

      Also met with the Zuckerberg or whatever his name is recently , guess to disuss what he wanted him to do . as I read later FB the orginator is a big liberal Obama lover and guess he will do whatever O wants..

      • David

        Time to drop my FB account. Too bad they are screwing up a
        good thing. FB acting like an agency of our bloated government.

        • Vis Fac

          Face Book or any other petty ego page is wan and will never be any good. At first these pages were set up with the assistance of the FBI in the guise of catching criminals. The originators knew full well that these sites will be monitored and actually assisted in collecting data. As with any technology abuse is inevitable and anyone with a social networking page has a dossier with all their personal data being shared with any federal state and local agency. Now don’t you al feel a wee bit foolish for being so egotistical?

          To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

          You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

          Libertas inaestimabilis res est
          Semper-Fi

      • ted

        And he is also pushing the amnesty bill, probably so he can hire more H1B foreigners.

        • Barbara

          if they get all of them in here we will never have anything but Democrats in office as thats how they will be voting

      • Alan

        Absolutely right Barbara. From what I understand he is a one-worlder, someone who supports the breakdown of all borders. And why not? He’s got all the money he needs to live a cushy life wherever he may choose to do so. So the hell with America, right?

      • Robert Messmer

        Don’t know how accurate it was but according to the movie Zuckerberg is the perfect Democrat. Basically he stole the idea of Facebook from two classmates, who having rich fathers didn’t pay attention to what Mark was doing to them until it was too late. Then after launching Facebook he screwed his best friend (at the time anyway) out of his stock by dilution…..redistributed the wealth so to speak.

  • fred37ify

    You were smarter then me – I set up an account – now I can’t delete it !

    • billybob

      You just have to watch what you send out. When it asks you if you want to share the comments with Facebook you say no!

  • Karl Dulaff

    Another reason to stay off FB.

  • Karl Dulaff

    Another reason to stay off FB.

  • Vis Fac

    Why would anyone want to use any petty ego page to provide information so they can be exploited is beyond me. We all have a certain amount of ego but social media is off the edge.

    To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

    You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

    Libertas inaestimabilis res est
    Semper-Fi

  • Peggy

    Ok people pretty simple–close facebooks accounts, and put them out of business–there is NO reason for their snooping whatso ever–and anyone who would know this and allow it is foolish acting.